HOW DO YOU DO IT, LORD?
I saw in a group I belong to on Facebook a report of a criminal’s confession detailing the numbers of people he and his gang have kidnapped and killed and the millions he has collected as ransom. In spite of all these, the man looked as haggard as a destitute!
Shortly before then, I saw a video of two South African criminals talking about their modus operandi and the lives they’d wasted in search of money, which they quickly squander in riotous living. They sounded as if life meant nothing and decency was alien to them. That old video was circulated in the midst of the recent, gory xenophobic attacks in SA on migrants from other African nations, particularly Nigerians.
These experiences and others like them have left me exasperated by the depths to which human beings have sunk in wickedness. And as I grapple with barefaced misconduct in my personal and professional environments, I am stunned by stories in the media emanating from the different arms of government in Nigeria where doing wrong seems to have become the law. It’s like we are in the days of Noah all over again as recorded in Genesis 6.
It’s not that I’m perfect or immune to sin, but by virtue of my salvation in Christ and the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I can distinguish between right and wrong and agonise over most of my words and actions. While the result of that process may not always be 100% pleasing to God, I keep asking for His help to conform me more and more to the image of Christ. But such a lifestyle provokes ridicule from many. The numbers of those who care about what is right seems to me to be diminishing.
As a result, I have found myself repeatedly asking the Lord Jesus to come back as the Scriptures promise and overthrow the present evil order on earth as I feel that going against it is increasingly becoming a losing battle. But God has different ways of bringing perspective to our anguish as believers and He did it for me once again as He did a few weeks ago when I wrote the related post above.
He made me to wonder how He must feel. If I, an erring, imperfect mortal, am distressed by the evil in the world and how callous people have become, how must the holy, perfect God feel? He who created human beings in His own image, who sent His only Son to pay the debt for our sins on the Cross of Calvary, who has sent His Spirit to give us every assistance we need to live right, how must He feel? I can’t imagine His heartbreak, the torture He goes through; who is of purer eyes, the KJV says, than to behold iniquity; who dwells in unapproachable light!
And then I began to ponder on His patience. With all the filth and people trying to outdo each other in depravity and criminality, God does not rush to punish them. He is the Judge of the whole earth and although constantly provoked and defied, He sometimes allows evil to run its course and destroy itself. At other times, He forbears, like forever, before stepping in and finishing off the wicked.
And my question is: Lord, how do You do it? How do You keep so calm? How do You keep showing love to those who deny Your existence and bitterly oppose You? How do You watch what is going on and not lose it again and again? How, how do You do it, Lord?
Almighty God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, keep me and all those who love You safe from the corruption in the world. It’s very easy to join the bandwagon and do tomorrow the same things that one condemns today. May that never happen to me, to us, Lord. Help us every day to learn how to be in the world but not of the world, how to navigate this polluted sphere without becoming suffused with its lusts, teach us how to live above the vices of this realm.
And help us in the midst of it all, to remain the light that shines in the darkness and the salt that preserves our corner from decay. Help us to remember that evil can never overcome good, just like darkness can never overpower light and that we should keep doing good and spreading the gospel for Your power is still here to save souls and redeem those who hearken to You.
All these I pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“11.The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” – Genesis 6:11-12
“1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”. – 2 Timothy 3:1-4
“16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” – John 3:16-17
“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is[ more righteous than he?” – Habakkuk 1:13
“who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 6:16 (ESV)
“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” – Isaiah 33:22
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
“13. Ye are the salt of the earth: 14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” – Matthew 5:13-14
“16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
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